The more I read about the train & bus station just a minute walk away from my schoolhouse, the deeper I dig into the Edo (now called Tokyo) era. I more than realized that I live and work very near to a national historical landmark! The station is named after 2 brothers, Shoemon and Seiemon, who built a 43-kilometer freshwater canal from Tama River in Hamura City to Yotsuya Okido, east of today’s Shinjuku Gyoen Park, in 1653 within 8 months!
My schoolhouse is in the same block as the train station: Saiwaicho 6-1-46
The ruler of Japan, Tokugawa Shogunate, who’s based in Edo needed to provide infrastructure for the growing new metropolis which included clean drinking water supply not from salty water, irrigation water for farmers and assists fire fighting along its route. The farmer-brothers’ speedy work and leadership in the communal project impressed the shogunate that their social status was promoted to aristocratic warrior caste and thus given special privileges like carrying “katana” (Japanese swords) and a surname — Tamagawa.
Tamagawajosui Station is in the border of 2 cities, Tachikawa and Higashiyamato, and few minutes walk to Musashimurayama City (resided here from 2000 ~ 2010). Two private companies operate the adjacent stations, Seibu Railway (Tamagawa-josui Station built on May 15, 1950) and Tokyo Tama Intercity Monorail (Tamagawajosui Station built on November 27, 1998).
When I moved to Tachikawa City in January 2010, I used the train station almost everyday as I was not allowed to drive my car to the 2 junior high schools that I was assigned to teach. It was a hard commute as the station was fully-packed with people especially during morning rush hour. In 2013, there were 40,393 daily average commuters.
The time I decided to open my house for private lessons, I sometimes distribute flyers in Tamagawajosui Station. I was approached almost every year by the train staff to rent an ad space. Finally last year, I decided to put up a billboard at the station. More people are visiting our school website since then. Our current students are so happy to inform me that they saw our billboard. Whenever I pass by Tamagawajosui Station like this morning when I went to church, I try to capture memories of my “ootd” (outfit of the day) with the billboard as background. 🙂